Why a Paper Planner Is an Environmentally Sustainable Choice: 3 Questions and Answers

Why a Paper Planner Is an Environmentally Sustainable Choice: 3 Questions and Answers
12/02/2016

Do you love writing on paper AND care about the environment? Have you already asked yourself if buying a paper agenda or notebook is an environmentally sustainable choice? If so, then this article is for you. Here are the answers to 3 frequently asked questions, so that you can make the best possible choice for your planner.

1. What kind of paper has been used to manufacture my agenda? 

This is the most important question to ask because not all types of paper have the same impact on the environment. The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) clearly states that there are still areas of the world where illegal logging destroys biodiversity-rich forests and threatens wildlife. Nevertheless, paper can be a truly renewable resource if produced responsibly. You can make your opinion count by purchasing products printed on certified paper from sustainable forests. 

2. What is paper certification and which certification system is the best?

Certification is a set of requirements to which paper production must comply. These requirements can include for example:

  • Protecting and maintaining the biological value of the forest (biodiversity, water, wildlife)
  • Respecting the rights of workers and indigenous people who live in the area, etc.

Among the different certification systems (see below)Greenpeace has identified Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as the most rigorous. For this reason, a planner or notebook printed on FSC is the most responsible choice.

3. Is an electronic planner a more sustainable choice?

It seems that it is not. Consider, for example, that:

  • The production of an electronic device is extremely polluting and depletes resources that are non-renewable. While a well-managed forest grows back on its own, the minerals needed to make a phone are often mined in developing countries with weak environmental regulations and using workers from vulnerable groups.
  • While paper is the most recycled material on earth (with an impressive rate of 73% in Canada), the recycling of electronic devices is still limited. Discarded appliances tend to be illegally disposed of in developing countries, where pollution problems are on the rise.
  • Of course, it all depends on how much we use our device and for how long. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “cell phones are only used for an average of 18 months before being replaced”.

In conclusion, while the environmental imprint of a cell phone is still difficult to calculate, paper is a renewable and recyclable material when produced responsibly. 

All paper-lovers will be happy to know that a planner printed on certified paper is a sustainable choice!


The main certification systems in the world:

  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®)
  • American Tree Farm System (ATFS)
  • Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)
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